Saturday, January 9, 2010

Would You Like to Know a Secret?

Nobody told me this before. I had to publish a novel to find out. Hopefully, your mileage will vary.

You know your writer friends? The ones you know from that conference you've been going to for a decade? The people you know from that writing bulletin board on line? The folks from the Yahoo community you joined way back when? The people in that professional organization who have rooted for you during the writing, selling, and publishing of your novel?

Those people won't buy your book.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, and it certainly surprised me. Now, the people in your real-life, face-to-face writing group probably will buy your book. Because there you are every week. You saw their new SUV and heard about the cruise they took the family on last fall. They will probably have a tough time avoiding coughing up $25 for your opus. But those online folks? The people you see once a year at that conference? They are not buying.

The reason (or at least the excuse) for that, at present, is obvious. All the writers you know are now turbo-poor. Or at least they can claim it until they pull up to the conference this spring in this year's new SUV.

The real reason? Too many would-be writers don't read any more than anybody else. Sorry, but there it is.

Someday I'll try to come up with a happy secret for you.


Nicola Morgan said...

While I was reading this, I was thinking, oooch, what is she going to say? And when you got to your point, I thought WELL SAID! You are so right: too many would-be writers don't read. They just don't read and they don't read enough and they don't read properly. If we're expecting people to buy our stuff eventually, we MUST read. Besides, if we love writing we MUST love reading. Gah! I never had a writing group so I didn't experience what you noticed, but I do know that unpublished / struggling writers too often don't read.

Lorelei Armstrong said...

And when you do meet people who didn't buy your book, they always feel the need to tell you they didn't and offer a reason why. Augh! Awkward! And occasionally surreal...

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Hi Lorelei, visiting from Nicola's blog party. Loved your post. I'm following you now. I look forward to reading more on your blog, and good luck with the book!

Lorelei Armstrong said...

Thanks so much and welcome!

Melinda Szymanik said...

Hi Lorelei - just over from Nicola's party. Those non-reading, non-book buying would-be writers are most likely going to stay that way. The upside of course is that we don't have to compete with them to get published. Copious reading is a definite prerequisite for good writing.

Dave said...

Reminds me of this.

Dave Wrote This